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    How to save money on summer road trips

    Whether you’re driving across the country on your annual family road trip or taking a weekend to enjoy the open road, there are plenty of ways to save on the cost of fuel. Here are some easy tips that will help you save money at the pump and stretch the fuel in your gas tank.

    * Prepare your vehicle. Regular service can spot problems that reduce gas mileage, such as a broken thermostat, low transmission fluid or even something as simple as a dirty air filter.

    * Prepare yourself. Select a route ahead of time and study it to know exactly where you’re going, and where you’ll make stops. There’s an app for that. ExxonMobil’s Fuel Finder app is free for Apple and Android devices. The app includes real-time maps, driving directions and station information for nearly 10,000 Exxon and Mobil retail locations across the continental U.S.

    * Take advantage of a rewards program to lower your fuel expense. Apply for the ExxonMobil Smart Card before Sept. 30 to save 18 cents per gallon on qualifying fuel purchases for the first two billing cycles and an ongoing savings of six cents per gallon on qualifying fuel purchases each billing cycle after that. Just purchase at least 45 gallons of Exxon- or Mobil-branded gas in a billing cycle, the savings will apply from that first gallon of gas up to 100 gallons and you will automatically receive your rebate as a credit on your billing statement. Subject to credit approval. Visit or pick up an application at any Exxon or Mobil station.

    * Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving – speeding, rapid acceleration and quick braking – wastes gas and can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Use cruise control to stick to the speed limit on long, straight highways. Wind resistance increases exponentially with speed and your car will work a lot harder the faster you go.

    * Avoid the heat. When possible, try to get on the road early in the morning or later in the evening as cooler temperatures set in. Not only will it help you save on air-conditioning expenses, but air that is cooler is denser and can actually increase power and mileage.

    Follow these simple driving tips and you’ll see more savings that you can enjoy on your summer vacation. Let’s hit the road!

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